Monday, January 29, 2007

Royal Pain

Do you know the Rodney legend? You don’t? I guess you weren’t there when Granny told us the story. Ok, let me start at the beginning.

Now, we all know every jungle must have a king. Or is it that every King must have a jungle? I get confused around that bit. Anyways, Rodney was the said King of our jungle and like any self-respecting King he spent all his day under the Banyan tree surveying his subjects.

One never knew if he was sleeping or watching the world pass by with his eyes closed. But I suppose Kings have an All-Seeing Eye which made them act detached from the world yet stay on top of matters in some mysterious way.

On her first day as a Queen, Rhonda woke up before dawn and went to the MoonBeam Lake for a swim with her sons. While Rhonda prepared an extensive grocery list, Rodney wrestled his cubs, Zizou and Mooza for the benefit of a few gazelles a mile or so away.

By mid-morning, Rodney’s Royal duties took precedence. He walked around the Banyan Tree twice, stared at the gazelles and dared them to run. When they gave him no second thought he sat down quietly under the shade of the Banyan, half closed his eyes and began dreaming about lunch; A juicy piece of Beef steak.

Rhonda spent most of her morning preparing a scrumptious meal fit for a king – beef steaks, lamb patties, chicken kebabs, vegetable au gratin to balance the meat and a big chocolate cake to round it all off. Rodney sniffed the air. Something delicious was moving his way. He peeked through one eye and saw Rhonda walking slowly towards him, the plates laden with all his favourites. He got up, shook his golden mane and let out a happy roar.

Thus a routine was set. Every afternoon, when a loud roar reverberated through the jungle, everyone knew it was lunch hour. An invisible clock was set in motion and even Harry the Hare stopped checking his watch.

A Royal pattern emerged; the wild river whimpered into a soft stream over pebbles. Rodney stopped his walks around The Banyan and spent most of his days on his tummy and the rest on his back while Rhonda led the pride on various expeditions across the greens. Soon his tummy grew as big as his mane and he could no longer wrestle Zizou nor lie on his back.

That’s when Rhonda devised her master plan. She would not clear Rodney’s bones after his lunch. It would be part of his Royal responsibility to keep his seat clean and to make the journey to the trash pit by their lair. Rodney listened to his wife half-asleep, wondering if he could pass a bill to stop all wives from wasting precious time on responsibilities when it could be spent watching the rhinos play catch. Yes, that would be his crowning achievement and he would be hailed King of All Jungles. As Rodney smiled at his idea, Rhonda romped to the lair confident her plan would work.

Funny, how the ways of the jungle are. Rodney preferred staying on his tummy to the Royal Responsibility and he just let the bones pile up. But he couldn’t bear to stare at the dirty bones, so he turned around and took an undue interest in the Margosa orchard on the other side. With his back to the mound, he neither noticed the growing pile nor the family of rodents that moved in and grew large with the mound.

The rodents grazed his rear end as they shunted between the bones and their hovel. But Rodney, who was now as big as the Banyan itself, was too lazy to move a paw to remove the cause of the itch. If only someone would come to his aid. He looked at the wild boar walking into the orchard, opened his mouth to call, and then decided against it. And so they remained, the rodents, Rodney and his grazed rear end, all in perfect harmony; Till Rhonda threw a fit.

It was when she cleared the bones and chased the last fat rodent from under Rodney’s tail, she saw it. A big red sore on Rodney’s back. Rodney was fast asleep, when Zizou returned with Augura, the jungle doctor. One look at the sore and Augura gave Rodney a thwack as loud as his roar and said, “Rodney! You maybe the King of the Jungle but you still have to scratch your own ass!”

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Monday, January 22, 2007

Reviving The Jungle

Honey Coated Reflections

wn crept into The Jungle as quietly as a teenager sneaking into the house after curfew, sure-footed and smooth. While everyone else continued their slumber unmindful of the new beginning, deep in the jungle someone stirred awake. Griz got out of bed, rubbed her eyes and made her way slowly to the pantry. There was just a week before The Great Slumber Party and she needed to double check her stock.

Blueberry Marmelade that Haaz licks off the bottle? Check
Raspberry jam? Check
Frozen salmon? Check

Frozen salmon in the jungle you ask? Now I know you won’t believe me but you see, Griz knows someone who knows someone whose ancestors were from Alaska and that’s how she knew how to save salmon for a wintry evening snack. Of course, it is a secret and the only reason I know it is because I was there when Griz did it.

So can we please forget the salmon and get back to the story?
Griz stared long and hard at the row of shelves. Something wasn’t right and then it hit her – Honey! How can one go to bed peacefully knowing there was no honey to wake up to? She looked into the cave; Haaz was on his back, his rotund belly doing a rhythmic dance of its own. Realizing he was not going to wake up in time, Griz rushed out towards Elephant Grove for that one bottle of perfect honey.

If you’ve ever been to Elephant Grove earlier, I am sure you would love the walk. First you passed Emeralda Square, the luscious pasture where Griz met Duck and exchanged stories, then came the MangoMumpteen, the hippest hangout joint in the jungle where we met every evening for a drink. Ofcourse, Gif & Gef missed the last one as they were out gallivanting as usual. Them giraffes can't keep their necks in place, if you ask me. But yeah if you ever want to drown your sorrows in a mango martini or throw the cause of the sorrow into the barrel, then that’s the place to be!

Now Griz didn’t like walking alone in the jungle, much less early mornings when there was hardly a robin out. Dawn was growing stronger and the few rays of sunshine that escaped the huge green canopy above hugged their dews, bringing a sparkle to the entire jungle. But nothing seemed to shake Griz from her goal. She walked a straight path to the Grove to catch Ms.Bumbles before she sold her best honey to someone else.

As she passed the MoonBeam Lake, Griz paused to take a drink. She leaned towards the blue waters and looked deep into her own eyes. First thing she noticed were the gray hairs on her fur. The dark circles around her big brown eyes weren’t adding much glamour. The more she stared at her reflection, the more faults she found; a little nick there, a cleft that would’ve looked better on Haaz, the baby fat she never lost…the list was endless and soon she forgot all about the honey.

The Sun rose higher, the jungle got louder but Griz stayed rooted to her spot caught in an unbreakable spell. She stared deeper into her brown eyes and saw them slowly dissolve into the blue ripples of the lake as the wonders of the lake swam into view. The green moss bed at the bottom, fishes in every possible hue wiggling their tails in an aquatic choreography, the water lilies trying to reach towards the heavens…she saw it all, for the very first time.

And then she rolled on the bank and laughed and laughed till she cried. That’s Griz for you. Do you wonder if she really made it to Ms.Bumbles and got that jar of honey? This is what she told us that evening, “You know what Zeb? I found my honey at the bottom of the lake that morning. All I needed was a change in perspective.” I nodded my head absent-mindedly as I looked at Griz through my third martini glass. Geez! Griz did look twice her size from this angle. Guess I need to change of that perspectush now. "Duck, will you order another martini for me please?"

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Sunday, January 21, 2007

The AFC Thriller

Gosh! I don't have any more nails left to bite.
What a cliffhanger game it was!!!

Both the teams played well and thanks to them, this game truly lived up to its hype. Peyton Manning and his Colts truly deserved this win. The Colts stood their ground, came back in the second half and made this a memorable game, worth every single minute. We hope they come back with the SuperBowl.

Great game Patriots! We can come back next season.
I guess like they said, it is indeed Peyton's time, afterall :)

Congrats COLTS!

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Thursday, January 18, 2007

Treacherous Beauty

With the ice storm finally arriving at New England, life has been anything but warm.
Yesterday had to walk in 7 F which felt like -3 effing F!

Of course as wonderful as the sparkling trees look, shining under early morning sun or late evening street lamps, the enveloping coldness leaves a frozen lump of a heart that hardly cares for those subtleties.

I miss my camera a lot, as I couldn't click anything :( But found some pics in BBC site tho' they are not of New England area. Here is a pic I picked from BBC. For more click here

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Lights On New England Patriots!

At the end of the day, how tough you stay the entire 60 minutes is what matters.
We Prevailed.

Go Pats!

P.S: I just hope LT doesn't find this 'non-classy' too :D
P.S2: Tom Brady looked utterly butterly delicious in the post-game press conf. The Missus runs to escape the Mr's kick :p

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Friday, January 12, 2007

Temple of Bare Naked Ladies

Every day I wake up 15 mins before my alarm, just to make sure the scream doesn't ruffle The Mr's dreams.

Hmm...the above does sound romantic but it ain't the truth.
Most days I do wake up before my alarm but mainly to switch it off lest it drills a big hole in my head. But some days I am so sleepy, I just lie half-awake waiting for that familiar but frustrating tone, to signal the start of another busy day.

But ofcourse, I don't get out of the bed immediately. Please! I don't heed to commands from living beings, why would I change that rule now for an alarm clock?

From 5.45 to 6.15 am, I lie in my bed wondering if there is a loophole in the time and space continuum which would let me sleep till 9.30 and yet be present for the 10 o'clock team meeting. By the time I realize my groggy greycells are not going to crack that problem, it is 6.45 am. I jump out of bed, make coffee, finish my shower and get ready in 15 odd mins and then spend another 5 mins in pulling The Mr away from the bed.

Finally we leave the house 2 mins later than the scheduled time and barely make it to the Lowell station with a minute to spare to board the train. And trust me, I need a medal just for that. It's one thing to make me climb flights of stairs at Egmore station but another when you make me do the same in the Land of Escalators. Seriously! why can't the darn train rumble away from the track closest to the door?

Anyhoo, me digressesses.

After some 50 odd minutes in the train, with my nose buried in a book I reach North Station where there is a mad scramble of feet, ipods, laptops and bags to reach the T before the next person. Another 10 odd minutes later, I am inside the Red Line on my way to Harvard Square.

I am not really a huge fan of winter. But as you cross the Charles river, and glance at the few skyscrapers peeking out of the early morning mist, you do appreciate the grey landscape. Some evenings when I leave early, I can catch the Charles river whispering naughty secrets to the Boston skyline, making her blush a beautiful pink hue, that slowly dissolves into the wintry darkness.

The best part of the day ofcourse, is when I cross the big black wrought iron gates and step foot into the courtyard of the temple - Harvard Yard. What you experience inside the gates is a world different from that outside. Students shuffling between dormitories, brown squirrels scampering around in a game of Catch, the not-so-occasional Oriental tourists clicking zillion photos of the yard in their digital cameras and the quintessential fitness freak jogging in 20 deg F. And standing guard over these subjects are The Trees.

Something in the manner those trees tower over the space, their empty branches reaching out to the heavens in a silent prayer, makes me want to just close my eyes and pray with them. For everything and everyone. In the 5 minutes it takes to walk across the yard, I manage to forget the chores I have left behind at home, the work I have in store at office and the tiring commute which brought me there in the first place. Coz for those 5 minutes, the world belongs to me and The Green Priestesses.

If I am lucky, like I was yesterday, I could see the trees forming a beautiful silhouette with an inky blue sky as the backdrop. A picture so surreal(to use the an adj overused by Americans) your mind registers it only as an aberration of Nature.

And then the day ends.

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Tuesday, January 09, 2007

'Appy Noo 'Ear

2007 dawned quite unceremoniously in our humble abode. But it didn't walk alone; it came in with an important lesson.

The Story:

Of late, I had come to believe soft cotton shower curtains in pastel shades with pretty purple flowers are the stuff New Years are made of. And what better time to make it happen than on the eve of the commercialized Birthday of a Saviour? But New Year was still a week away, so my latest purchase lay on the bedroom floor, cuddled inside its plastic shell, unmindful of the kicks we gave it every morning on our way out.

Yes, not once did it occur to me that I should pick it up and put it in its place. Where do you place a new Shower curtain anyway? Especially when I plan to send it to its home on the rod in 7 days? So I let it lie there and every time I passed it, I longed for the day I could unwrap it and let the whole world behold its loveliness.

And then 31st December came knocking. Now I am not really the 'Make Resolutions And Then Forget Them A Week Later' girl. I am more a 'No Resolution is as good as No Resolution' woman (Did you get it? I coined it just now). But being in a new country and having a newer job must have softened my insides coz at 10 pm I decided I shall become Ms.Organized Wonderwoman. After packing off The Mr to buy some chocolate cake, I whizzed around the house in my imaginary wheels, picking up stuff and shoving them down cracks and corners I never knew existed in my house :)

In 1.5 hours, our tiny home was as clean as it could possible be. Nothing on the carpet, or the sofa or the chair or the bed other than what is supposed to be there. I was so proud of my achievement, I helped myself to an extra slice of cake.

New Year. The day I can disappear behind cotton extravaganza. I walked into my bedroom and that's when I realised something was not right. The floor was clean. No plastic bags on the floor begging my attention. When did this silliness happen? I spent the next 2 hours searching every closet (an act made simpler by the fact that were just 2 to search), every shelf in the house. I even checked my pantry. Yes, you have no idea what I am capable of.

Did I tell you that I can remember the pretty flowers on the white frock that I wore for my birthday as a 7year old? I even remember the big green suitcase we used to have when i was a kid. I used to sit behind a make-shift tea-stall built with that suitcase and other trunks in Thatha's home at Tirunelveli when I was 2 and everyone had to buy coffee from me every morning.
Ironic but i just couldn't remember where I kept that stupid shower curtain.

So New Year didn't exactly go the way I planned and I returned to my moldy curtain. Three days later as I walked down the Supermarket, I knew where my shower curtain was. Just like that. Between aisles of canned tomatoes and colourful pasta, I found what I thought I had lost. I rushed home, dropped the bags at the door, ran to the bedroom and dug deep under the bed and found my shower curtain, neatly wrapped. Of course, 10 minutes later I realised what
I really needed was milk - the one item I didn't buy.

Un-Moral of The Story:
If at the end of a day of cleaning, you can't find your husband, then Organization is not for you.

Happy New Year Folks!
This has been in my draft for too long and i just found the time to post it. Kindly Eshus!